The evolution of slot machines

The history of slot machines begins in 1887 when Charles August Fey, an American mechanical engineer with English origins, developed the first one-armed bandit called the “Liberty Bell” . The original can still be seen in a restaurant in Nevada today. Compared to modern online slot machines, this machine has an extremely simple game principle. It consists of three reels, which house the lucky symbols of hearts, spades, diamonds, horseshoes, diamonds and the Liberty Bell. The peculiarity of this invention was the fact that this device could pay out real money. Three Liberty Bells only had to appear for the player to get the maximum win of around $ 3.

Four years later, New Yorkers Sittman and Pitt developed another slot machine. He had a total of five reels with printed map symbols. The aim of the game, just like in modern video poker, was to get the best possible five-card poker hand. In contrast to the “Liberty Bell” slot machine, the first poker machine did not pay out any money, instead the player had the opportunity to win cigars or beer in the respective pub. In order to improve the house edge, the Jack of Hearts and 10 of Spades were removed. In addition, the operators could manipulate the game by removing cards that were still wide.

A few years after the turn of the century, serial production of the “Operator Bell” slot machine, invented by Herbert Mills, began . In 1908 he could be found in numerous pubs, tobacco shops and saloons. A few years later, slot machines were banned. Since they were already enjoying great popularity, slot machine developers have decided to turn the existing ATMs into so-called fruit machines. Instead of money, the players could win chewing gum with the respective fruit flavor. That’s why there are still so many slot machines with fruit symbols such as cherries, lemons, oranges, grapes and plums. The BAR symbol was the logo of the chewing gum manufacturer Bell-Fruit Company.

The first electromechanical slot machine on the market is known as “Money Honey”. It was developed in 1963 by the American company Bally Manufacturing Corporation. Although was electronically powered, it still had a lever as players were used to starting the game that way. “Money Honey” could pay out up to 500 coins at once. This slot machine serves as the predecessor of today’s slot machines. Since 1980, the electromechanical gaming machines have been replaced with electronic gaming machines. The casino manufacturer also introduced random to ensure the random game results.

In 1994 the first online gambling software was developed and a new era began for the slot machine industry. Today there are numerous online game developers and casino sites like 888Casinoswhere you can try different slot machines at any time. A large part of the slot machines on offer are the classic fruit machines. There are also many other categories of slot machines such as multi-line slots, progressive jackpot slots, 3D slots and franchise slots. They inspire with great graphics, authentic sound effects and additional free spins. Most slot machines also offer risk features such as a card game or risk ladder. This way, players can double or lose their winnings, which is of course a lot more fun. For some years now, more and more slot machines have even been playable on mobile phones and tablets. Mobile gamblingis the last stage in the development of the slot machines. The new technologies allow us to have access to mobile slot machines everywhere.

Slots history


    “Liberty Bell”


    “Poker Machine”




    “Money Honey Slot Machine”


    First casino software


    First mobile casino app

Slot machine collections

The vending industry has a rich history and it’s no wonder there are so many vending machine collections around the world. In English, the largest collection of slot machines is located at Benkhausen Castle in Espelkamp. This is where the slot machine museum of the “English king of slot machines” Paul Famous is housed. The collection includes not only gambling machines, but also vending machines and service machines, amusement machines, mechanical jukeboxes, games of skill, needle games, bombers and pinball machines. In 2007 the museum acquired 650 automata from the collection of Jean-Claude Baudot. Today Famous owns over 1800 machines, with a total of 200 exhibits being presented in the English Machine Museum (DAM).They were developed between 1880 and 1980 and offer you the opportunity to take a full look at the history of slot machines.

Virginia City is home to the Nevada Gambling Museum. There you can see over 100 slot machines that were invented between 1800 and 1900. The value of this collection is estimated at about half a million dollars. In addition to the gaming machines, four life-size statues of famous western heroes can be seen here, with slot machines built into their bellies. An exhibition at the Nevada Gambling Museum is dedicated to the inventor of the slot machine, Charles Fey.

However, machine collections are not only found in Europe and the USA. In Asahi, 100 kilometers from Tokyo, you can visit the Pachinko Museum. The game Pachinko is a mixture of pinball and slot machine, which was invented in 1930. The player shoots balls into the machine and tries to get them through a labyrinth into small openings. As soon as this succeeds, an electronic slot machine is activated and the player has the opportunity to win a jackpot with three identical symbols .

The so-called arcade games also form an important part of the slot machine industry. The Museum of Soviet Slot Machines is located in Moscow and St. Petersburg. About 50 different machines are being completely restored there so that they can work with the old Soviet coins (kopecks). The best-known games from this era include “Seekampf”, “Tankodrom”, “Sneiper”, “Gorodki”, “Skatchki” as well as Soviet pinball tables and ice hockey games.